Baez, 34, is solely weeks into the second season of a two-year, $12.5MM contract that moreover contained a club chance for the 2023 season. He missed the massive majority of the 2021 season as a result of shoulder troubles, then but again, pitching just 4 1/3 innings. He’s been puny to 2 1/3 frames so some distance in 2022, for the interval of which interval he’s been clobbered for six runs (three earned) on 5 hits and three walks with two punchouts. Baez’s fastball, which averaged almost about 98 mph at its height and sat at 96 mph as not too long previously as 2019, has averaged just 90.2 mph previously in 2022.
Houston will technically maintain a week to change Baez or state him on outright waivers, but that’s a on the total moot point. One more group isn’t going to resolve on on the relaxation of this season’s $5.5MM salary or the $2MM buyout he’s serene owed on next year’s club chance — not along with his fresh shoulder troubles and alarming scuttle dip. Even when Baez had been to be handed by outright waivers, he would possibly possibly presumably reject an outright assignment to a minor league affiliate, elect free company and bask in his salary per the stage of giant league provider time he’s accumulated.
The presumably result here is that the Astros will consume the final $4.91MM on Baez’s salary, to boot as the $2MM buyout on next year’s chance and merely free up him. Baez would possibly possibly presumably be free to signal with a novel club, at which point that group would simplest owe him the prorated league minimal for any time he spent in the Majors. That sum would possibly possibly presumably be subtracted from the $6.91MM the ’Stros otherwise owe him.
Disheartening as Baez’s brief time with the Astros used to be, he used to be a well-regarded slack-inning arm for the Dodgers in the years main up to his free company. From 2014-20, Baez tallied 356 innings of three.o3 ERA ball with 100 holds, three saves, a 25.3% strikeout rate and an 8.2% ground-ball rate. He tacked on another 29 1/3 innings of three.99 ERA ball in the playoffs, and while you state apart a rough exhibiting in the early levels of his occupation (2014-15), Baez notched a 2.70 designate in 26 1/3 postseason innings from 2016-20.
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